Shopping in the average American supermarket would lead you to believe that all produce is “in season” all the time. After all, we can typically purchase whichever fruit or vegetable we want, no matter what time of the year it is. Strawberries in the middle of December? Sure. Butternut squash in June? Why not. But just because we can buy it any time of the year doesn’t mean the produce is either fresh or seasonal. That’s why I was happy to see this handy chart created by Dawn Cadwell on her blog Frugal for Life.
Dawn complied a list of over 50 fruits and vegetables and their typical growing seasons so that we can tell if the produce we’re buying is actually “in season.” But her map isn’t the only handy tool out there — other sites like Epicurious allow users to search for seasonal produce by state and month, and for those living in the United Kingdom, Eat Seasonably has a printable poster listing popular produce and the month’s they’re available to help make shopping for fresh fruits and veggies easier.
Eating what’s in season will ensure that your produce is fresh (which almost always guarantees better taste), cost effective (more yield usually equates to lower prices), and is better for the environment (growing plants in their appropriate season means less resources will be needed). But if you’re without a computer or a handy chart, hit the farmers’ markets to be sure you’re getting the best of what your region has to offer.